Normal Aging vs Dementia
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
As the baby boomer generation ages, there is a lot more focus on Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. While this information is helpful, it is good to remember that 40% of people 65 and older experience some form of memory loss, which is considered a normal part of the aging process.
Differences between memory loss and dimentia
Here are some differences noted by the Alzheimer Society of Canada:
- Not remembering details of a conversation or an event that took place a year ago is normal, not being able to recall very recent details is not.
- Forgetting the name of an acquaintance is normal, not recognizing or knowing names of family members could indicate dementia.
- If a loved one has an occasional lapse of memory regarding a thing or event, that is normal. If this happens frequently, it may be cause for concern.
- We all have trouble finding words occasionally, but frequent pauses and word substitutions is not normal.
- If your loved one is worried about their memory, but you aren’t noticing major problems, this is most likely age-related memory loss. If you are seeing issues, but your loved one is not aware of a problem, there may be an issue.
If you are concerned, please talk to your doctor. It is wise to get all the information you can, even if the memory issues are just age-related.
Diagnosis of Dimentia
Learn more about our communication strategies for people with Dimentia.
See our PDF about 8 tips for communicating with a loved one who has dimentia.